The role of entrepreneurial orientation in enabling corporate entrepreneurship in Namibian companies
Scholars and business leaders discourse on the importance of “unleashing the entrepreneurial potential” of organisations includes getting rid of controls and restrictions on entrepreneurial behaviour (Pinchot & Pellman, 1999:125). The global business environment is changing exponentially, fast becoming ever more competitive, which dictates that entrepreneurial activity is growing in prominence, allowing for the survival and future competitiveness of corporates. At organisation level, the ability to innovate continually and engage in an ongoing process of entrepreneurial action has become the source of competitive advantage, with the dearth of entrepreneurial intent and orientation being the perfect ingredient for failure (Kuratko, 2009). This study provided quantitative first-hand empirical support for academic and practical claims of the role entrepreneurial orientation (EO) played in supporting corporate entrepreneurship (CE) in an emerging market context. The conceptual model, shaped from the work of Urban and Wood (2015), intended to contribute to the body of knowledge providing both researchers and organisations alike the foundation to examine the relationship between EO and CE. The integrated framework of CE allowed for a broad overview of the relationship with EO. A sample of 500 corporate employees was drawn from various corporate employers in Namibia. The findings were established based on three hypotheses. The first hypothesis was supported, as the study found that the higher the level of EO, in terms of the innovativeness dimension, the greater the level of CE in terms of opportunity recognition. The second hypothesis stated that the higher the level of EO, in terms of the risk-taking dimension, the greater the level of CE in terms of opportunity recognition. The study found a negative and insignificant impact of risk-taking on opportunity recognition; the hypothesis was not supported. The third hypothesis found that the higher the level of EO, in terms of the pro-activeness dimension, the greater the level of CE in terms of opportunity recognition. CE theory endures to advance and improve (Zahra, Randerson, & Fayolle, 2013), and although existing studies have enriched the knowledge of the relationship between EO and CE, a serious research gap was identified. This research investigated the roles played by both constructs in a developing market context, with the intention of providing a more comprehensive picture of how EO affects CE, as the study’s main research question. To sum up, whichever form CE takes; it is fundamental and imperative that creating value is observed as the key driver in the pursuit of ongoing competitive advantage.
A research report submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Management specialising in Entrepreneurship and New Venture Creation to the Faculty of Commerce, Law and Management, Wits Business School, University of the Witwatersrand, 2020